Jun 27 AT 12:37 PM Dustin Earley 59 Comments

Jelly Bean: Google Now, Project Butter, enhanced notifications and more


Google has officially announced and detailed Jelly Bean, Android 4.1. And it’s better than we could have possibly imagined. There’s a ton of technical changes and new features that will keep Android ahead of the curve. Let’s take a look at what the update will include.

Jelly Bean will be smoother than any other Android version before it thanks to Project Butter. By using “triple buffered graphics,” Jelly Bean will feature faster and more consistent frame rates, creating a visually pleasing experience. Google used a super high speed camera to film animations on a stock Ice Cream Sandwich and stock Jelly Bean device. The difference was night and day.

Android already has the best notification system in mobile today. With Jelly Bean, it’s going to get even better. Notifications are going to be expandable andĀ collapsibleĀ in Jelly Bean, and they’ll feature developer customizable quick actions. For example, when you get a Four Square notification, you can expand it in the notification shade, and either like or comment on the notification without ever having to enter the app.

Voice input is about to get a whole lot better in Jelly Bean too. From here on out, Voice Typing will no longer require an Internet connection. It will only be available in US English at first, but it should expand before too long.

Google Now and the new Jelly Bean flavored enhanced Google search is hands down the most exciting feature to come out of I/O so far. When asking Google simple questions like what’s the weather, a card will pop up and tell you the weather. You can use Voice Typing to ask questions, and have the answers on cards read back to you. This is essentially Google’s answer to Siri. And it looks fantastic.

Google Now takes the new Google search, and adds a personal assistant feature. Accessible by clicking the Google search bar or by swiping up from the bottom of the screen, Google Now will auto-populate information in certain cards, like sports scores, and use previous searches, calendar events and your location to provide you with other smart information. The more you use it, the better it gets.

Jelly Bean will be hitting the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S and Motorola Xoom in mid-July.

We’ll be bringing you much more on Jelly Bean and the news out of I/O as the day rolls on. Stay tuned!

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • oddball

    Can’t type through the drool running over my keyboard. Google has hit a massive home run here and my wallet is already feeling a few hundred bucks lighter

  • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

    VZW GNex will be getting the OTA in August (2013).

    Not really true. Maybe.

    • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com DroidSamurai

      2013 Aug? So early? Just 13 months after Jelly Bean is released. Hell, I am impressed …

      If I hold my breath waiting for Verizon to update, I would be dead soon.

  • GeauxLSU

    Can Google patent “triple buffered graphics”?

    • ericl5112

      No. Well, they may be able to patent it. I doubt they win any cases with it since it’s been around. Than again, a rectangle has been around before, and that’s still winning patent cases…

      • Arjun

        Lol not to mention square tablets also have been winning some cases versus rectangles O.o

    • flix

      Lol. I think even original Doom used tripple buffered graphics (in fact N-buffered, which is a generalisation of triple buffering)

  • halo0

    Got my 16GB Nexus 7. Can’t wait for the Q!

  • Robert

    Let me first state that I hate apple, their price gouging and legal maneuvers with a passion. that said, ics was a big stop forward in smoothness, so this is going to be great and I can’t wait to put it on my gsIII

  • Daniel Milner

    I hope by “Nexus S” they’re also including the Nexus S 4G :)

    • ericl5112

      Sadly, I wouldn’t get your hopes up. CDMA makes for a non-google update system.

  • Matt

    This just may push me from my beloved Galaxy Note to a Nexus device this fall!

    • Arjun

      Just buy a Galaxy Note 2. Its supposed to come with Jelly Bean pre-installed lol and some really impressive hardware.

  • Ps3y3Ops

    If you’re not excited about Android now, you never will be

    • inviolable

      Please, man. Just yesterday I saw some girl say something on twitter like, “Sent a tweet on the desktop and all I see is boxes. This must be what using twitter on Android is like. iPhone hurry up and charge!”

      Some people are just voluntarily brainwashed, and that just will never change, sadly.

      • http://facebook.com/jestertx2001 Jesse Moreno

        Sad but true.

      • Arjun

        Must have been using a mac..

  • Lightning7

    *quickly unlocks Transformer Prime, preparing to flash Jelly Bean ROM when ready*

  • TheTruthSquad

    I have already ordered my Nexus Seven, not because I need a tablet; It is because I am tired of waiting for Verizon to update my Bionic to ICS. With this device, I can wait for the next great phone when my contract is up. Verizon has a great network and really great customer support but their update schedules are atrocious. Maybe if they get enough complaints, they will put someone in charge who knows what they are doing. But, I doubt it.

  • Max.Steel

    *repeatedly taps check now button for system update*

  • aranea

    Maybe I should give my atrix to my father and get his Galaxy Nexus GSM. I soooo want the jelly bean.

  • CTown

    So, is there a “personality” like assistant or are the cards just a screen with pictures and information? Personally, I would perfer the latter, especially against something with a face!

    • Fahad

      Don’t kid your self you know you miss this guy…


    • AppleFUD

      Looks like Google is trying to be more “Star Trek like” thank “personal assistant gimmicky”

      Did you notice how much better the computer generated voice sounded?

      I expect their “assistant” to “feed” you answers and do things but not be so dialogue oriented. Don’t know about you but I really don’t want to have a conversation with my computer/phone.. . . just get me the info please.

      • Josh

        hell yeah i wanna talk to my phone in a natural way and be independent of every network out there.

        I wanna dictate letters, i wanna leave it my calendar and all the every day hassle, i don’t even want to see the goddamn thing anymore when i don’t want to.

        this just cries to be my personal slave.
        it’s a pc that is finally working for me, and not vice versa.

        more time for friends in real life.

  • skyflakes

    Time to flash yakju.

    • Fahad

      Once it starts pushing out, but until then we have half a month ahead of us atleast…

    • Dustin Earley

      Takju already has it on some devices…

      • Leo209

        Takju jelly bean rom that was on the G nex’s at Google I/O was leaked today :) waiting to get off of work…


    I can’t wait till it hits my gsm GNEX

    • Fahad

      I can’t wait for the ROM’s ^_^

    • AceoStar

      Im predicting Aug 10 for AOKP :D

    • BiGMERF

      i imported mines back in early November when released.. I should (fingers crossed) be on the get first list

  • redraider133

    Hopefully they can get this out onto devices quicker than ICS. Can’t wait to see what the dev’s can cook up with this.

  • NoRootNoFun

    They talk about Jelly Bean on the Motorola Xoom while Xoom users outside the US don’t even have ICS on their tablets. That’s a bad joke.

    • Jimmy_Jo

      I feel dirty that I had to vote up this negative comment….
      But it’s absolutely true!

      • NoRootNoFun

        Sure it is… don’t get me wrong, I love my Xoom (even with 3.2) and the Android ecosystem in general, but I don’t get why it seems to be so difficult to update an identical device that was just sold in another country. Looks like it’s time for Cyanogenmod, which I already use on my phone.

    • leeyiksheng

      I think Asus will soon update all the Transformers with Jelly Bean based on their track record. ;-)

    • Arjun

      Google bought Motorola and now expect to see some rapid updates on those devices.

  • kwills88

    most important part of this is that this isnt a heavy modified update, so a lot of ics ready phone can run it…it’s only a matter of how soon.

    • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com Homncruse

      Well, that much might not be true. The improvements brought forth by Project Butter might be significant.

  • rauelius

    Considering that Asus is making the Nexus 7, Jelly Bean is hopefully coming to the Transformer Prime sooner rather than later.

  • Nathan D.

    Jelly bean enhancements sound very nice can’t wait to see the update hit my tablet later in the year.

  • jamal adam

    Looks like I can have my Jelly Beans and eat them too.

  • rblli

    And the usual gestation period for the Nexus device. The update ships early and has bugs. The devices are slower after upgrades anyways and with a manufacturer’s warranly only you’re screwed waiting for them to fix it. So why even bother? Just get one Galaxy S a year and upgrade. Oh wait, LTE came along. Use you’re phone for 5 minutes a month unless you have grandfathered unlimited on Verizon and pay them full price to upgrade and keep that plan. Brilliant!

  • JayB95

    The new notifications setup kicks ass! I like the new camera too.

  • Stella

    Google really hit it out the park with the new notification. This is going to be so sweet. Can’t wait to see the ROM community cook up, too.

  • rauelius

    Are these performance enhancements comparable to the the Linaro-ized version of ICS that was outed a few weeks ago?


    The hardware he’s using runs on the TI OMAP 4430 the same chip as the Droid Razer and a slight downgrade from the TI OMAP 4460 in the Galaxy Nexus.

    I wonder if Google either got in touch with the Linaro guys or both teams came to the same conclusions in improving the efficiency of Android.

  • dVyper

    Project butter sounds interesting. But i won’t believe that Android has finally gotten smooth until i see it with my own eyes in the real world. My One X has quad core and still stutters? Unacceptable.

    • Maximus

      Thank Sense for that

      I installed JB last Night coming from CM9 and it really is Smooth

      No noticeable lag whatsoever

      Very Well done

      They should keep Project Butter alive and find new ways to make the UI even more seemless

  • Lee

    Looks like as we only just got ics this will be another 2 years before we see this on the xperia s

  • OnIn2

    I’m so excited, I can’t WAIT to see this on my G2x :-/

  • txbluesman

    With the Nexus S getting the update, I don’t feel like my phone is so outdated. First ICS and now JB. Nice! I can’t wait. Thanks Google.

    • Dustin Earley

      Considering how cheap a used Nexus S is now, it’s one of the best low priced devices you can buy.

  • apo

    Now this is available in XDA and it’s a monster.
    Reaally good job Google, this is the fastest and smoothest OS I’ve seen, I don’t want a S3 anymore now.
    Thanks God I bought a Nexus.

  • knight

    I run CM10 on my infuse 4g and it is the smoothest the phone has ever ran. I am in love with jelly bean and butter!

  • eduardo

    When its the jb upgrade coming to puerto rico?? Im waiting that upgrade since ocfober man!! Can anybody tell me some that males me feel releaves?